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Physical activity is recognized as a complementary therapy to improve physical and physiological functions among prostate cancer survivors. Little is known about communication between health providers and African-American prostate cancer patients, a high risk population, regarding the health benefits of regular physical activity on their prognosis and recovery. This study explores African-American prostate cancer survivors’ experiences with physical activity prescription from their physicians.


Three focus group interviews were conducted with 12 African-American prostate cancer survivors in May 2014 in St. Louis, MO. Participants’ ages ranged from 49 to 79 years, had completed radical prostatectomy, and their time out of surgery varied from 7 to 31 months.


Emerged themes included physician role on prescribing physical activity, patients’ perceived barriers to engaging in physical activity, perception of normalcy following surgery, and specific resources survivors’ sought during treatment. Of the 12 men who participated, 8 men (67%) expressed that their physicians did not recommend physical activity for them. Although some participants revealed they were aware of the importance of sustained physical activity on their prognosis and recovery, some expressed concerns that urinary dysfunction, incontinence, and family commitments prevented them from engaging in active lifestyles.


Transitioning from post radical prostatectomy treatment to normal life was an important concern to survivors. These findings highlight the importance of physical activity communication and prescription for prostate cancer patients.

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© The Author(s) 2016. This document was originally published in Supportive Care in Cancer.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


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